On April 10th, Rene Castro tweeted he would be transferring from Duquesne for his senior season. Castro was granted his release from Duquesne and appeared set to join Isiaha Mike and Nakye Sanders as players to transfer from the program following the firing of Jim Ferry. However, after spending time with newly appointed head coach Keith Dambrot and his staff, Rene has decided he will be suiting up for the Dukes next season after all.
“I initially put in the transfer just because I wanted to make sure I had an impact at some type of school for my senior year,” Castro told Pittsburgh Sports Now. “And then I talked with the [new] coaching staff, and basically they convinced me to stay. They said they had a significant role for me next year, and they could help me succeed and help the Dukes win next year.”
Castro, who averaged 7.1 points, 2.1 assists, and 1.5 rebounds over 19.1 minutes-per-game in 2016/2017, did not want to see his contributions diminish under the Dukes’ new head coach. According to Rene, the role which Coach Dambrot and his staff envision him playing will offer the 6-foot-2-inch, 195-pound guard a “decent amount of minutes” and positional flexibility.
“It would just be more like coming in and playing all guard spots and trying to contribute,” said Castro of his expected role in 2017/2018.
The promise of assuming a vital role in Duquesne’s squad next season intrigued Castro, but it was not the only factor that led to his decision. Rene’s interactions with Coach Dambrot, and the relationship they have developed since April 10th, have also confirmed that Duquesne is where he should conclude his career.
“When I first met [Coach Dambrot], I really liked him. We talked. He seemed real. He just came from a winning program, so I know he was a good coach and his track record basically shows it all in the twelve years at Akron. He’s a really good guy.”
Losing the coach to whom he originally committed is a familiar event for Castro. Rene, who began his career at Butler, committed to play for the Bulldogs when Brad Stevens was still their head coach. After Stevens departed for the Boston Celtics, Castro honored his commitment and played one season under Stevens’ replacement, Brandon Miller. Following his freshman season at Butler, the guard transferred to Duquesne to play under Jim Ferry, a coach who Castro was “shocked” and “sad” to see fired this offseason.
According to Castro, the transfers of Isiaha Mike and Nakye Sanders did not influence his initial decision to apply for transfer, and Mike Lewis’ decision to remain at Duquesne played no part in his decision to stay. Throughout the entire process, Rene only considered his own interests and personal goals. And although he sought the best situation for himself, his goals remain primarily team-oriented.
“My expectations this year are trying to place at least top-5 in the A-10 and to have a good season,” he said. “I don’t know what that consists of [with individual] points and stuff. For my senior year, I really just want to win.”
Castro has big plans off-the-court at Duquesne, as well. Rene recently graduated from Duquesne with a degree in integrated marketing communication, and will now pursue his Master’s Degree in leadership as he exhausts his playing eligibility.